The UK has been allegedly supplying arms to Saudi Arabia, even a landmark ruling declaring it unlawful. The supply continued after ignoring the judgement, which held the supply responsible for contributing to violence in Yemen.
The Ruling Against Exports
After a strong campaign against arms trade in the UK last year, a court of appeal listed supply of arms to Saudi Arabia as unlawful. It also lashed for not inquiring whether airstrikes in Yemen had broken Humanitarian laws. The court had observed that in 2016, some ministers including Boris Johnson, signed off an agreement. This done without taking into account risks to the civilians proved to be troublesome. The court directed Fox to review the 4.7 billion Euros deal with Suadi.
The Yemen Civil war which reached its peak in 2015, killed thousands of civilians. Indiscriminate bombing by Saudi led coalition made the situation worse. The repercussions of which can be seen even today as Yemen struggles to stand on its own. If the situation worsens, Yemen could face the worst ever famine today.
As the leaders changed through the years changed, so did the policy towards Saudi Arabia. Experts believe the secret agreement initiates the role of UK in the Saudi led bombings. The UK has turned a blind eye to atrocities in Yemen by trading arms with the country that is leading the war, some say.
Fox, defended itself by closing all arms trade last year while approaching for an appeal. It also claimed it will not issue any new license for exports to Suadi Arabia or its affiliations.
Exports Continue At The Cost Of Human Rights
Unfortunately, the licence still continues to operate in terms of exports. Incredibly important warfare supplies like fighter jet components and aircraft maintenance continue to make their way to Saudi Arabia. IN a recent confirmation, the aero giant BAE the UK’s largest arms exporter continues to fulfil its duties under the 2018 Typhoon services contract.
The opposition continues to lash out at the government to prioritise commercial interest over human rights. The situation shall remain that of agony unless some international institution intervenes.